|Indonesian version in Gold Edition, 2011.|
Gaarder, Jostein. 2011. Gadis Jeruk. Jakarta: Penerbit Mizan.
Rating 4 stars
(review in Indonesian, click here)
(review in Indonesian, click here)
Why I read it in the first place?
I wanted to read The Orange Girl because I haven't been able to finished Gaarder’s masterpiece YET, the famous Sophie’s World. Yes, I know that’s one of some great books out there (or so I’ve been told), but somehow, for unknown reason, I got stuck in the middle (please, it wasn’t even middle yet). After a long break, I didn’t have it in me to continue my journey in Sophie’s World. Maybe, it just wasn’t my time to read Sophie’s World. So, when I saw The Orange Girl last year, was sitting neatly in bookstore’s shelf, I instantly bought it, I even didn’t bother to read the review in the back cover. One, because I still didn’t want to give up on Gaarder. Like most people, I’m kind of reader that picks book majorly based on its author. Let’s say I’m in love with Inferno (which I totally will! I DON’T HAVE IT YET BUT I DESPERATELY WANT IT!!!), then I automatically will expect the same greatness from other Dan Brown’s works. I guess this is the biggest challenge for a best-selling writer, don’t you think? To keep up or, at least, stay put on standard they’ve made. Two, because The Orange Girl is WAY thinner than Sophie’s World. I expected The Orange Girl to be just like Sophie’s World, talks about philosophy. And I thought this would be a nice get-to-know Gaarder’s works instead of reading the ‘big girl’ right away. The Orange Girl contains less than three hundred pages. I thought, “I can make it through if I push myself enough.” But, little things I knew, I didn’t need a lot of pushing.
Perhaps most people assume that The Orange Girl is a philosophy novel, which is true, but somehow I got hook by another side in this book, a side that tells a concept of loving. Am I really a girly girl deep down inside? I don’t know, never thought so. Of course I was also aware of the philosophy element in The Orange Girl. Buuut, I couldn’t omit my undeniable attraction to the human being ability to love somebody as showed in this book. I almost believe, that sublime feeling doesn’t exist in this world.
Georg, a 15 year-old boy, suddenly being faced by a letter from his father that passed away eleven years ago. From this point alone, anyone should feel the curiosity, the need, to read The Orange Girl, right? Very interesting plot indeed!
In the said letter, Georg’s father tells about his teenage self that encountered with a girl his age at that time, and he called her The Orange Girl. His story is FREAKISHLY detail. The plot is actually fast, I think, but these details made me almost fed up. Georg’s father gives us reader many mysteries, and I just kept thinking, “What? Who? Why? TELL MEEEEEE!!!” while reading everything page by page frantically.
Reading The Orange Girl, I was astounded by the way Georg’s father pursuits his love, the way he thinks, the way he sees the world. It makes me wish to be loved that deeply and irrevocably. The thing is, his reactions, his thoughts, when he meets The Orange Girl made me shuddered! I was so getting in love with this character, I even forgot he already said bye to the living, clearly mentioned in the first sentence in this book. I was overwhelmed. You get what I felt? It’s not cool when you’ve been more attached with one character as more pages you read, but then you realize that this character is dead already.
It’s quite interesting that this book has two points of view at the same time, Georg’s and his father’s. But I’d say the main character will be Georg’s father rather than Georg himself. Yes people, I know his actual name, and I purposely don’t mention it because of the reasons I will tell in the next paragraph. Anyway, I must say, the answers of the many mysteries were kind of easy to guess when I got to the middle of the story. I totally have called that, because I was and am awesome (ignore me). But of course we’ll never be so sure until we have the exact answers served in silver platter, so I read it until the end (duh!). I decided to follow the seems-like-magical-but-it’s-actually-not journey of Georg’s father. Very very gripping. This book, The Orange Girl, made me deep in thoughts, mused about life.
I guess I can’t explain any further about this book more than I already had above (what a little bitty information, I know, and you guys might even get more than this from the back cover review alone). It’s not that I don’t want to, but simply because I just can’t keep rambling without me spoil some significant points that I believe you’ll enjoy it more if you find it yourself while reading this book. Seems okay, right? Because I am an INTOLERANT missy when it comes to spoiler. I will become even madder if some genius decided to spoil without spoiler alert beforehand. So, let’s keep the peace by being aware about things like this. The hard part doing review about The Orange Girl is, this book is full of questions that people would DYING to get the answers at the first half of the book. It fulls of mysteries. If I’m being a bubbly head while reviewing this, I might spoils important clues, and maybe I would ruin your excitement when you decide to read this great book.
Me, when I totally hooked by Georg's father character and realized he had been dead all along...